Most of the year, we take turns each night at dinner saying something that made us smile that day, or our favorite part of the day. In November, we change it up a little and say something we’re thankful for each day. This started as a conversation starter at dinner, because I didn’t want to hear about gross boy stuff our eldest had done when he was just a toddler. And very verbal about it. Now, our kids keep strict count of who gets to go first each night, even if we’re in a restaurant.
We began actually writing these down last year. I just made 30 little envelopes using my Big Shot, folded the flap backward to leave them open at the top, and stuck a button on for embellishment. Obviously my life was just as chaotic last year as this, so no time for fanciness. I stapled them to some polka dot ribbon, 10 per ribbon piece, and hung them side by side in the window. By Thanksgiving, it makes a nifty little display, all those autumnal colors of cardstock reminding us of turkey tail feathers. I write the date at the top and an initial at the bottom. My husband was gone last week for Army stuff, so these only had 4 colors in when I took the photo.
I read an idea in a magazine that’s similar. Cut out a large tree trunk (or buy a wall decal) and place it on your dining room wall. Place a basket of paper leaves by it, and let people write down their blessings and add leaves to the tree. But I already have these envelopes, so we’re sticking with that!
I saved the ones from last year…it’s entertaining to look back at them. The two little ones mostly listed food items last year; for those of you who know them, I’m sure that’s no surprise. The eldest ran the gamut from “Mama and Daddy” to “Legos",” also not a surprise. This year the littles seem to be getting it better.
It makes a great little check-in for all of us, especially with Christmas approaching, to actually think about and talk about the things we’re thankful for and fortunate to have. And I still don’t have to hear about disgusting kid stuff at dinner. Most of the time.